INFIMACS Becoming Ever More RELEVANT For Project-Based Industries. Part 1: Recent Developments
Written By: Predrag Jakovljevic
Published On: October 2001
INFIMACS Becoming Ever More RELEVANT For Project-Based Industries
1: Recent Developments
On September 26, as a result of partnering with its build-to-order, discrete
manufacturing and maintenance organization customers, Relevant Business
Systems, (www.relevant.com) a privately held ERP vendor for small
to medium discrete complex manufacturing companies, has enhanced its INFIMACS
II ERP Business Planning module by providing all of the functions
required to prepare forecasts for products, create master production schedules
(MPS) and evaluate the impact of the MPS on company resources, using rough-cut
capacity planning (RCCP). Several MPS runs may be executed and saved without
impacting the rest of the database, allowing users to consider alternatives,
review what-if impacts and select the most appropriate production plan.
to the company, INFIMACS II Business Planning also provides a sophisticated
resource requirements planning (RRP) tool. Manufacturing resources, such
as parts, labor, machine time, cash flow and maintenance hours, can be
identified and entered into the system. To check capacity constraints,
INFIMACS II compares this resource plan with the production plan to illustrate
the projected load that a given MPS will place on the organization. If
this rough cut indicates that resources do not exist to meet the MPS being
tested, the user may fine-tune the MPS to bring the available resources
into balance with production demands.
production planning can incorporate multiple forecasts, such as marketing
and sales, spares and statistical trends, to streamline the process of
moving from department forecasts to an overall production forecast. For
increased flexibility, demand forecasts can be entered manually or developed
by the system based on the statistical analysis of a part's usage history.
When developed statistically, the user can specify whether the forecast
anticipates actual demand level by period or a set monthly rate. In either
case, the user defines a review horizon and time increment.
is the last of a slew of enhancements Relevant has introduced to its flagship
INFIMACS (Integrated Financial & Manufacturing Control System) product
in the period over the last 12 months.
This is Part One of a two-part note on developments at Relevant Business
Systems. Part Two will discuss the Market Impact and make User Recommendations.
Unlike with most applications vendors, Relevant has not consolidated the
product enhancements into a formal major product release schedule. Instead,
as new functionality is added to the product, customers have immediate
access to the upgrades. Some of more notable recent product enhancements
Estimating Management - Users can generate estimates for new or existing
products, customize estimates for customers or prospects or for internal
use only, convert estimates to orders and/or quotes, convert prospects
to customers and extract data in various reports and queries.
parts and bills of materials (BOMs) transfer into the ERP creating the
standard item master and BOM records within the INFIMACS database -
The interface also allows AutoCAD 14 and AutoCAD 2000 users to input
INFIMACS' information within AutoCAD drawings; users can also create
a purchasing item master, validate all incoming data and generate messages
in the error log, as the transfer process enforces strict quality control
checks and balances.
generation of vendor request for quotations (RFQs) from requisitions/estimates
for direct material, indirect material and service items - RFQs are
then processed through a cycle that includes vendor selection, price
approval and purchase order creation.
customer dialogue by administering service calls - Users can add, maintain
and track the status and severity of service requests made via phone,
email, fax, web entry or any other means of contact; they can define
service procedures, assign staff and manage workloads.
documents management/control - Users can attach electronic documents
in any standard format to records or menus in the ERP system; they can
also add reference items to BOMs, attach objects to records or programs,
and attach their own help items to INFIMACS fields and menus.
number (tail) effectivity for the aircraft/aerospace industry - Within
INFIMACS II, a table carries information on each serial or tail number
for each item used, including the original date the serial or tail number
was added, received or stocked, as well as item information, such as
the original vendor lot number, inventory quantities, weighted average
costs and the last inventory adjustment date.
tracking by illustrated parts list (IPL) for aircraft and related maintenance
organizations - Advanced MRO module quickly pulls together the unique
BOM (IPL) needed for any particular job, even though on-condition repairs
cannot be determined until after a technician review specifies the required
labor and material; users can maintain information generated about the
returned item from the initial receipt of the part through quoting,
repair, shipping and invoicing.
items information from receipt to invoicing for maintenance, repair
and overhaul (MRO) organizations - Users can use advanced MRO module
to track work orders, purchase orders, sales orders, inventory, approvals
such as FAA airworthiness Form 8130, and costs by both project item
and condition code; the module maintains a capabilities file by item
number that automatically determines if the user is allowed to perform
the work which needs to be done, assuring the shop only undertakes repairs
on items for which it is certified.
Concurrently with the above in-house product enhancements, Relevant has
been forming partnerships with complementary solution providers, the most
to Abra Payroll System from Best Software
to Best Software's FAS Fixed Asset Accounting System
of WorkWise (a division of Timeline, Inc.) Business
Alerts, so that customers and personnel can be automatically
notified of important status events via email. Using WorkWise Business
Alerts, INFIMACS II invisibly monitors data fields for pre-selected
activities. Users simply select the events to trigger the email, who
should be notified, and the text or data to be sent. The alerts feature
tracks events, dates, status of purchase orders, sales orders, work
orders, inventory quantities, financial due dates and aging dates. It
flags critical operations, expedites receipts, rates vendor deliveries,
notifies buyers when a Purchase Order is mailed or acknowledged, updates
planners when components are allocated or issued, and alerts customers
that products are being shipped. Proper personnel are notified of schedule
progress, if payments are due, or milestones are met, prompting immediate
with Viquity to reduce entry barrier to e-commerce and provide
the discrete industry with an integrated e-procurement solution. As
a result, the Viquity INFIMACS II Adapter is envisioned to connect INFIMACS
II ERP system to the Viquity Dynamic Commerce Network (DCN),
Viquity's e-business platform for direct procurement transactions. The
combined solution should allow purchase orders, demand forecasts, invoices,
and other actionable documents to be exchanged in real-time between
business partners through the Viquity DCN.
to C/S Solutions' wInsight and C/S Glue export programs
from INFIMACS II Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) - Users
can directly export Earned Value data into wInsight to create reports,
charts and graphs of WBS and Earned Value data; as government contractors
working to meet DoD, DOE, FAA or DCMC requirements often use wInsight
to create reports, it is regarded as the de facto government Earned
Value reporting standard.
with SupplierMarket.com. As a result of, users are able to buy
and sell built-to-order components, parts, and equipment seamlessly
via their familiar INFIMACS purchasing and quotation screens. As an
Internet marketplace for manufactured direct materials, SupplierMarket.com
is envisioned to receive and process RFQ information via XML transmissions
from the INFIMACS user and will then locate and match ideal trading
Last but not least, in order to attract many small-to-medium enterprises
(SMEs) that do not have the technological infrastructure, such as ERP
systems, to electronically communicate and integrate with their customers
and suppliers, the company has also introduced INFIMACS ADvantage Entry
Level ERP system. INFIMACS ADvantage provides the immediate basic
needs for up to 24 users at build-to-order (BTO), engineer-to-order (ETO),
and contract manufacturers. It also offers a growth path for future upgrades
and expansion to INFIMACS II, as, according to the company, large manufacturers
using INFIMACS II rely on the same, basic functionalities in a core set
of 12 modules over 80% of the time.
initiative aimed especially at smaller contract, ETO, and CTO manufacturers,
as well as MRO shops, is Relevant Business Systems' new hosted, on-line
iEnterpriseASP (Application Service Provider) that allows
INFIMACS II ERP to be used on a pay-as-you-go basis. Leveraging Citrix
Metaframe, the iEnterpriseASP full INFIMACS II ERP can be customized
for manufacturers requiring special needs. The company hopes the lease-to-own
option would be very attractive to customers that might want to bring
the system in-house after the contract period.
concludes Part One of a two-part Event Note. Part Two will discuss the
Market Impact and make Users Recommendations.